Crime, Punishment & Law Enforcement - Roman Britain

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  • ROMAN BRITAIN
    • Roman Society
      • Hierarchical
        • 1. Nobility (Patricians) - wealthy families who owned property and slaves. The father was the head of the family.
        • 2. Freedmen (Plebeian) - Difference between freedmen and slaves was difference of status. Freedmen was not wealthy.
        • 3. Women - Women were under the control of the father of husband. Romans arranged marriages for girls when they were still very young.
        • 4. Slaves - Some slaves could by their freedom but this was very rare. If a slave runs away, s/he would face branding and even death. The society didn't recognise slaves as humans however, the treatment of the slaves depended who their owner was.
      • Patriarchal
        • The head of the family and the society was always the male. Women, children and slaves had to obey them.
      • Unequal
        • Wealthy had the power when it came to punishments and law enforcement.
        • Poverty led to crime.
    • Roman Law
      • Had one central law and law enforcement system.
      • Laws were written down and displayed in town centres for people to know and therefore obey.
        • 12 Tablets
      • Suspects were considered innocent until proven guilty. (Fair trial)
        • Evidence has to be provided to the court.
    • Crimes
      • Against Property
        • Petty theft
        • Selling underweight goods
        • Burglary
      • Against The Person
        • Street violence
        • Murder
      • Against Authority
        • Plotting against the Emperor
        • Refusing to conmform to the official state religion
    • Punishment
      • Punishments depended on the criminals social status.
      • Citizens
        • Serious Crimes
          • Death
            • Arson
            • Stealing Animals
            • Attacking the Emperor
        • Minor Crimes
          • Whipping
          • Repaying the cost of goods
          • Confiscating property
      • Nobles
        • Serious Crimes
          • Go exile to avoid punishment
      • Slaves
        • Murder / attempt to murder their master
          • Crucified
      • Legionnaries
        • Ran away from battle
          • Execution
          • One in every ten men from the legion of the runaway was executed
      • Women
        • Killing her father (Patricide)
          • Tied in a sack of snakes and thrown into a river to drown.
      • Other
        • Refusing to recognise Emperor as God and believing to the same religion
          • Molten lead was poured down their throat and crucification
          • Jews
            • One million were killed
            • Fought as gladiators
    • Law Enforcement
      • Roman Policing
        • Praetorian Guards
          • The Emperor's household guard. They protected him while rebellions.
        • Urban Cohorts
          • They kept the order by stopping riots however, they didn't patrol the streets.
        • The Vigiles
          • They prevented and put out fires. On patrol nights, they tried to stop crimes or capture runaway slaves.
        • Local Centurions
          • People reported the crime to the local centurions first. He would decide if it should go to the court.
      • Trials
        • Serios Crimes
          • 1.Jury would listen to both sides before deciding.
          • 2.The magistrate would decide the sentence
          • 3.The governor would carry out the sentence.
          • Tried by the Roman Governor of Britain
        • Minor crimes
          • 1.At the magistrates court, a judge was chosen (not a lawyer, but can get advice from them).
          • 2.Both sides would present their evidence.
          • 3.Judge made a decision.
          • Very minor crimes - Local centurions would act like a magistrate.
        • Anyone could bring a case to the court for trial.
        • Slaves could present evidence at the trial only if they were tortured first.
      • Rebellions
        • Stopping rebellions - The Governor of Britain
        • 118AD - Quintus Pompeius Falco (Roman Army)
      • Do - It - Yourself
        • Minor crimes such as stealing
        • Victim has to find the criminal, collect evidence and take the criminal to court

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